The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Mar 19, 2012

Erasing the Internet at the Bass Museum of Art

Posted by Valerie Nahmad

By Kristin Korolowicz, Bass Museum of Art

This week at the Bass Museum of Art artist Jillian Mayer will have a new collaborative project on view.

Mayer’s practice investigates the intersections between art, media, entertainment and pop culture. She is best known for her successful viral video projects, which are intended to circulate in both the art context and the popular cultural arena of YouTube. Her collaborative video Scenic Jogging was one of 25 chosen from 23,000 submissions from 91 countries for the Guggenheim's YouTube Play. A Biennial of Creative Video in October 2010.

Erasey Page is a commissioned web-based project that Mayer produced in collaboration with computer programmer, designer, and creative technologist Eric Shoenborn, which will be on view in the museum’s recently renovated project room space. The interactive website begins with a greeting from the artist as a pop-up spokes model who promotes visitors to live an internet-free and happy life by simply deleting the World Wide Web page by page. Participants are then encouraged to type in a web address of their choosing to erase. Afterwards, the spokesperson reappears to thank visitors for making the choice to regain their lives and to enjoy “a less computer interactive and a more real-time reactive lifestyle.”

Contemporary culture is profoundly informed by the ways we access, navigate and use information online, which is both celebrated and questioned by the artist. Lying somewhere between a parody of utopian ideals and an infomercial for a self-help product, Erasey Page humorously comments on one’s personal agency. The project becomes particularly poignant in light of recent activism and online blackouts in protest against the U.S. government’s proposed legislation—SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) & PIPA (Project IP Act)—which aims to regulate user-contributed material on the Internet and block entire websites. However, Mayer’s proposition is more directed towards questioning our increasingly virtual lives (via social media, etc.) to playfully imagine a world without the Internet.

Join us for the reception and after hours event on April 6th at 8pm and experience Erasey Page….


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